Nothing like older Civics in terms of its soul or lovability. Ride is moderately rough but still wallows over undulations on the highway. The increased power is at a severe cost to fuel economy (as low as 24 mpg without much sporting) and the automatic transmission does a poor job of utilizing the power vs fuel economy curve. Its like they took the shifting map of a V8 and copied it exactly. It is obsessed with micromanaging. Moreover, it doesn't even get it right. It will skip 2nd up a hill when it should have just left the power on tap, then doesn't have the power to make it in 3rd and shifts back to second. My passengers often think I'm moving the throttle. My malaise grows.
The styling is amazing, in and out. I love the looks. The seats and carpet are made of great materials. However, the dash and door panels are too plasticky, manifesting as a noticeable downgrade in touch and look of class. Plastic in interior is easily scratched even by fingernails. I have no complains about the controls, though I wish it had a fuel economy gauge instead of the pointless oil-life percentage. Why does that take precedence as the one fancy readout? Backseat's not even big enough for tall people. My 12k-mile engine makes an unusual whining sound that at low rpms and speed is just as loud as the actual combustion tone. Why are there inconsistent lemon-like cars from Honda?
Honda probably hit the nail right on the head for the target demographic here. I can't relate to the rest of the happy owners here. This car is well built, but tries to do too much. I liked how the old transmissions used to let the revs get a little higher before they shifted. Heck, I love manuals. But America does not like manuals. They like cars with a lot of power, that have ads saying they are fuel efficient, and they don't mind paying too much for everything. That must be why they don't mind paying 20,000 to for a car that could be outperformed in the most critical areas by a car with 150k miles from 1990 and chokes down gas like they drink coffee. A truly feeble attempt at a Civic.